Simulations merge with battlefield action
Australian, Korean and United States Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) have provided location information to aircrew in a simulator in Virginia in the US to take out live targets in the Townsville Field Training Area.
Battlefield simulations that meld virtual assets with real-world operators in the field are being used during Exercise Talisman Sabre to provide an unparalleled training opportunity for multinational forces.
The aircrew in Virginia were able to control a virtual AC 130 Spectre gunship over a live picture of the TFTA battlefield.
Republic of Korea Army JTAC Master Sergeant Kang Minho talked the remote aircrew on to a target for a successful engagement during a training session at TFTA.
He said the technology was something that was increasingly being utilised by the Korean Army.
“In Korea we have previously trained with the US in a combined simulator-real environment,” he said.
“Doing the training in another country with different partners allows us to practise under different conditions and learn how other forces operate,” Master Sergeant Kang said.
Captain Jack Cailes, an Army Combat Training Centre coach, said this was the first time three nations had combined in Australia to integrate the virtual capability into a live battlespace.
He said the technology has a number of key advantages, including allowing operators to engage real time targets while integrating with pilots from different nations.
“We have limited fixed wing aircraft here at TFTA for targeting operations but with this simulation we can supplement the activity with a wider variety of aircraft,” he said.
“Our operators get the same training effect but on a much larger scale if we need it.”
It's not the only use of simulation technology taking place on Talisman Sabre.
Virtualisation of the high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS) is also being captured by the simulation hub at TFTA to insert in battlefield scenarios.
Earlier this year the Australian Government announced the purchase of 20 HIMARS and associated hardware.
Combat Training Centre Commander Colonel Ben McLennan said that the use of the virtualisation and simulation technology was allowing Defence to prepare for new platforms ahead of their arrival.
“It shows that we are modernising the Army and Defence before platforms actually arrive,” Colonel McLennan said.
“We are integrating capabilities that haven't even arrived yet so that we can fast track them and flatten the learning curve.”